RW&B replacing FNBB in Park Slope?
- BrookBoy Oct 7, 2006 06:12 PM
My wife happened to walk by the Full Nose Big Body wine shop on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope this morning and came home to say that there is a sign there that now says Red White & Bubbly.
We certainly don't have anything against RW&B (outside of their high prices, at least in their store on Fifth Avenue), but we are sorry to see BNFB go. We were regular patrons when the original young couple who opened the store were proprietors. We found their successor, Pat, to be totally lacking in customer service skills, and even friendliness, so we quit spending our money there.
When the next owner purchased the store from Pat we sent him an email relating our history with the store and wishing him well. We never heard back so we decided not to bother (it's a bit of a walk for us, one which we were willing to make when the young couple owned the place but not since).
Now it appears that the place has changed hands again. Maybe the proprietor of RW&B will have more luck, or has more skill. It'll be interesing to see what he does with the place, especially since the original concept was for moderately priced wines.
I always liked the customer service at Shawn's and 7th Avenue Wine Stores. Their prices are reasonable. 7th Avenue also has a wine tasting Mon-Sat.
BNFB is still owned by Aaron Hans and the sign still says BNFB - not sure what your wife saw, but I was just there today and all is fine. Aaron has done great things with the store (although I still miss the original owners) and they've got lots of good value wine at very competitive prices. From what I understand the store is flourishing and not about to change hands any time soon.
I can't believe you think Red, White and Bubbly is pricey. I live off of 7th, much closer to Shaun, but go to RWB all the time for the great selection, service and prices -- we've had many good bottles of wine for under $10 there.
I agree that RWB has a fabulous range of wines - great under $10 bottles and interesting special bottles as well. In general, we're very fortunate to have many good wine and liquor stores in the Slope and I would say that all of them have reasonably priced bottles.
I've become a huge fan of RW&B over the years. They are particularly strong in the $7-10 range, and the wine tastings are always informative--sometimes even jaw dropping (I still can't believe they opened a 1949 Banyuls!). Darren's recommendations are spot on, too--especially when you're looking for something a little pricy. Someday, he may even get me to buy a gewürztraminer...
Bob - at the front of RW&B - before you hit the counter, is where the more inexpensive stuff is. I've scored very tasty tempranillos, vinho verdes, gruners, cabs, etc. there, all under $10. (I rarely spend more than $10 on a bottle of wine; when I do it's usually a sparkler.) I wouldn't say that they are strong in that range, but I'd say that their offerings in that range are certainly stronger than Sterling's. (I'd guess that less than 5% of RW&B stock is under $10, while Sterling I'd probably put closer to 15-20%, if not higher.) That said - I usually stock up on the Citra Montepulciano d'Abruzzi at Sterling - it's usually two magnums for $11.99 - can't beat that in my book for a decent table wine.
Now only if someone in the area stocked prosecco col fundo I'd be a happy camper.
And what's up with the wine store on Atlantic between Bond and Nevins - is that ever going to open?
I'd seen that discount counter in the front of the store but never delved there. It was probably a bit of reverse snobbery on my part. Sort of like being seen rummaging through the discount rack in a high end clothing store.
I get back and forth to New Jersey a lot lately on the weekends, specifically Monmouth county. The liquor stores there are vast, easily 4 times the size of RW&B. They stock wines at all ends of the price/quality spectrum and their prices at the high end are about $3 less per bottle than RW&B. As a result I buy my higher end stuff in NJ and am not particularly impressed when I see the same bottles in Brooklyn for more money. Granted, if I didn't have access to those stores in NJ I'd be happy with RW&B's above average selection.
One more word in praise of cheaper bottles. I often read in bed for about an hour before I go to sleep and like to have a glass of wine to smooth out the day. A bottle will last me a week and I keep it in the fridge. Here is where a bottle of cheap but decent wine comes in handy, although Sommelier obviously disapproves. I guess I'll have to learn to live with that.
Oh yeah, one more tip of the hat to Sterling Wines & Liquors. Aside from being conveniently located across the street from the outstanding Fifth Ave. Key Food and having nicely priced bottles, they will gladly give you up to $200 cash back on debit card purchases, eliminating the need to visit an ATM.
If you're looking for the larger bottlings of cheap wines, the wine store on 5th across from the Key Food at Sterling Place has decent prices. I prefer Red, White, and Bubbly to that store any day - I feel that they offer much better wines in a similar price range. I would rather spend $8 on something really tasty (they had an organic gruner veltliner on special there in that price range once) than a known commodity that is *fine*. There's a bit of a gamble there, but there is a life outside of the value supermarket brands. (If you're looking for something even more inexpensive, I'd recommend the Trader Joe's store on 14th in Manhattan for their three-buck-chuck - it's actually not a bad table wine.)
Sterling across from Key Food on Fifth Ave deserves the love . . .
For a more curated - albeit small, but really nicely chosen -
I love SIP on Fifth Ave, a few blocks closer to Flatbush. More like the original BNFB in style.
I have zero luck at RWB, and do not find them to be budget friendly on a bottle by bottle comparison to Manhattan stores I frequent. Even Sterling has some of the same bottles they carry, for a buck or two less.
Here's the thing about RW & B -- prices are not rock bottom necessarily, but there's a plentiful selection of under $10s (as pvs poster said mostly Spanish, but also on the monthly 4 highlighted bottles table at the back of the store). The staff is helpful and pleasant, many , if not all, are quite knowledgable and the space is just a delight. Big, ambling, I love the layout and the 'feel.' There are at least 3 wines stores closer to me and I most always walk down to 5th because I find a stop there is always pleasant, and I always find something reasonably priced and reasonably good -- and sometimes great (The dTour 3-litre carton for $16?!?!?)